Topic: “Native Azaleas by an Alabama Native – Dr. Eugene Aromi”
The late Dr. Eugene Aromi was a Mobile native, university professor, and “amateur” gardener. Around 1970 he began experimenting crossing deciduous azaleas native to Mobile county with the elaborately and colorfully blooming English hybrids known as Exbury azaleas. His goal was to produce superior blooming deciduous azalea hybrids that could stand up to Alabama's heat and humidity. Dr. Aromi performed over 1,000 crosses and evaluated over 50,000 plants - of which he selected just over 100 to be named. In this program Jefferson County Master Gardener David Doggett describes and shows beautiful photos of the results of Dr. Aromi’s life’s work. Many of his hybrid azaleas can be found planted around Aldridge Gardens.